Gas Powered has both SupCom and Dungeon Siege fans to keep happy now. Is handing over the keys to Obsidian a measure for you to be able to work on something new?
CT: Well, we have Kings and Castles. Gas Powered Games is an RTS company. Ten years from now that could change but right now there is a tremendous energy we get. Whether we're doing Demigod 2 or SupCom 3 or some other game it's all the same tech.
Does StarCraft 2's success empower you as an RTS developer?
CT: Yes. In core gaming people see the PC as shrinking and see the RTS as the fad that past over the last ten years and the sun is setting on it, but StarCraft 2 brings it back in a massive way. People go 'oh yeah, it's simply an investment of publisher dollars' and Age of Empires Online will probably be successful and show that it's about the investment being there.
You know, 'build it and they will come' - the Field of Dreams line from the Kevin Costner movie, there is so much truth to this statement. What I'm saying is that there's a kind of chicken and egg thing here; Blizzard spends around 100 plus million dollars so of course they're going to do 300 million bucks in sales.
Have you noticed a bigger interest in publishers since StarCraft?
CT: The interest actually heated up two or three months before StarCraft 2, it actually led. It's like a dividend, same idea; our phone was ringing off the hook on the ramp up.
What did you think of StarCraft 2 as a whole?
NC: I have to admit that I am retardedly addicted to StarCraft 2. What I find interesting is that it's not a new game at all - it's StarCraft. The single-player has a lot of polish, the cinematics but it sill is StarCraft.
I imagine it's a very different perspective for a person who makes RTS games but it's nice to see them take a core mechanic and iterate on it over and over. From a developer perspective I wish I could do that.
CT: There's two sides to that, the first is that if you're going to make a game for the very first time it would be wonderful to do exactly that; iterate for five years and get it exactly right. I think it's designers hell to be working on sequels forever and ever like you're in some prison cell of your own creation.
So what so many developers do is create something, launch it, maybe make a sequel because there was some stuff they could refine and didn't get a chance to. By the time the third one comes around it's time to do something new. The most gratifying, creative life you can live is to continuously create something new or work on something new.
I could go work on World of Warcraft 3, which would be great. It doesn't matter that it is the third one, it's just the fact that I haven't worked on an MMO before. To work on the same subject matter - swords and spells - would drive me crazy. There are people who I've come across who live in that and love it - it takes all kinds of people.
You mentioned Age of Empires... Microsoft hasn't unveiled any new PC games for years, and now suddenly it's got Age of Empires Online and Fable III. Why the change of heart?
CT: I don't know what they're thinking. You can look at a pool table and see where the balls are going to go because you've only got so many variables. To peer into the mind of one of the world's largest corporations is like looking at a pool table with a million pool balls on it.
Microsoft told us if it doesn't treat the platform well third-parties won't either...
CT: This is your puzzle to solve. For me I like to look at an established platform. The iPhone is established, the iPad isn't. When it is I'll look at it as a platform. If you ask me what I think of DirectX 11 I'll wait until 50 million people have it - I'm not going to build a game for it if customers don't have the tech. I follow platforms and tech, I don't lead them.